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Helping Your Child Conquer Sleep Issues

Posted by on Jul. 20, 2010 at 12:08 PM
  • 9 Replies

Lighten the Night® with the GoodNites® NiteLite™ Panel
 
Helping Your Child Conquer Sleep Issues
 
By Dawn Meehan, Mother of six, author of “Because I Said So…” and respected blogger at Becauseisaidso.com
 
As a mom of six kids, I can’t count how many times over the years I’ve helped a child deal with some sort of sleep issue.  From the bouts of night terrors my oldest son went through, to the bedwetting, to the fear of the dark, the thunderstorms that bring the kids running to my bed, the mysterious illnesses that seem to only manifest themselves when it’s time for lights out, and the bad dreams my middle daughter often has, I’ve seen it all.  And now, my teens seem to have some strange disorder that makes them sleep until noon!
 
In my experience, the number one thing you can do to help your child conquer their sleep issues is to create a relaxing bedtime routine and stick to it.  Children thrive on routines and it’s very calming when they know what’s going to come next.  Having a bath, snack time, teeth brushing time and story time (or whatever you want to include in your routine) in the same order every night can ease anxiety and fears and get your child ready for slumber.  Believe me, I’ve had nights where I thought I was too busy to walk the kids through the bedtime routine so I let them stay up and play before abruptly telling them to get in bed.  It took easily two or three times as long to settle them down and get them to sleep on those nights.  I would’ve been better off taking the time to enjoy the bedtime routine with them in the first place, than to trying to herd six kids running around the house like wild monkeys.
 
Talk to your children.  What better time to discuss the day’s events than when everyone’s winding down and getting ready for bed.  Talk about any problems and brainstorm solutions together before turning out the lights for the night.  Just like you would have a difficult time falling asleep if your brain were spinning, thinking of a stressful situation that happened during the day, your child will be affected by stress as well.  Do what you can to eliminate it.
 
Take the time to address your child’s fears and concerns.  If they’re afraid of the dark, get them a nightlight.  If they’re afraid of monsters lurking under their bed, help them to realize the shadows in their room are just that – shadows.
 
And help your children have a good night’s sleep by making certain they understand that bedwetting is not their fault.  Let them know that they’re not alone, as millions of kids wet the bed, and that it’s not a big deal.  Ensure them that they’ll grow out of it.  And in the meantime, make sure they stay comfortable and dry through the night by using GoodNitesâ Underwear.
 
Sure, you’ll probably still have to deal with those occasional bad dreams and the thunderstorms that bring the kids running to your bed.  But by following a bedtime routine and taking the time to help your kids unwind, you’ll be helping them conquer sleep issues and ensuring they all have a good night.


by on Jul. 20, 2010 at 12:08 PM
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Replies (1-9):
bhwrn1
by on Jul. 20, 2010 at 4:43 PM

We have a consistent bed time routine in our house. Granted, on the weekends, the time is a little later as the kids always want to watch a movie or something of that sort. But the routine still stays the same. We have always had a routine and I really think this has helped our kids sleep better.

owensmom34
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2010 at 9:40 PM

My children have a consistent bedtime routine as well.  I think a routine is one of the most helpful things you can do for a child training.

AM-BRAT
by on Jul. 23, 2010 at 12:26 AM


Quoting owensmom34:

My children have a consistent bedtime routine as well.  I think a routine is one of the most helpful things you can do for a child training.


Agree. And that goes for all routines here.

kmrtigger
by on Jul. 23, 2010 at 3:43 PM

 

Quoting owensmom34:

My children have a consistent bedtime routine as well.  I think a routine is one of the most helpful things you can do for a child training.

 I agree and that is how it is here in our home. My boys would be lost without a routine for different things.

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Aug. 2, 2010 at 8:43 AM

With apologies to the experts, I disagree with discussing bad things with the children before they go to bed. The article mentions not being able to sleep with your head spinning with worries, but to bring up the worries to a sleepy child who may not even be able to concentrate at that time of the evening just doesn't seem right. The time to bring up worries is earlier in the day when the child is bright and alert and can resolve thoughts about the worries long before he goes to bed. When he is in bed the freshly awakened worries will go around and around in his head. He may or may not remember any solution, but the worries are now fresh.

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Aug. 2, 2010 at 8:44 AM

I agree that routine is a good thing.

owensmom34
by Bronze Member on Aug. 2, 2010 at 11:27 PM
Having a relaxing, consistent bedtime routine is so true! Kids need routine!
momofqxb
by on Aug. 3, 2010 at 3:10 PM

My kids have never had a routine, I don't know why it just never occured to me, but then again, I did work full time and sometimes didnt' get off work till 11 at night, my SO is pretty lazy, I could never gurantee the kids would get a decent meal when I'm not home. let alone a bath unless they are dripping with dirt. But I have been a stay at home mom for 2 yrs now, and it still never occured to me to set a routine. I'm gonna make it my goal to start working on that tonight. My 6 yr old is old enough to help me with that. Wish me luck. And I'm a mom to three 6, 2, and 1 month.

owensmom34
by Bronze Member on Aug. 3, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Working full time is difficult enough!  It would be hard for me to have a routine as well.  I wish you all the best!  I am still struggling with bedwetting and I'm home all day with the kids.

Quoting momofqxb:

My kids have never had a routine, I don't know why it just never occured to me, but then again, I did work full time and sometimes didnt' get off work till 11 at night, my SO is pretty lazy, I could never gurantee the kids would get a decent meal when I'm not home. let alone a bath unless they are dripping with dirt. But I have been a stay at home mom for 2 yrs now, and it still never occured to me to set a routine. I'm gonna make it my goal to start working on that tonight. My 6 yr old is old enough to help me with that. Wish me luck. And I'm a mom to three 6, 2, and 1 month.

 

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